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TheBrainDance

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Hey everyone, I am new to the forum and I am here to seek input and feedback on some ideas.

I am constantly thinking of ways to change the world through science education and was thinking of products that could be developed to do this. I know that rockets are used in classrooms and I was trying to come up with some electronic payload ideas that would be useful to science educators, and get students excited about science, or at least have some scientific value in the classroom rather that just talking about physics. Maybe there are other ways of using rockets for this noble purpose, I am not sure. I'm just trying to brainstorm and get some ideas in work.

Any input would be appreciated. I used to build and launch model rockets all the time as a kid and it was a bunch of fun. Now I live in an area that isn't conducive to rocketry so it has been a while. I am not a teacher but more of a young entrepreneur that is constantly looking for ways to make a positive impact on the world.
 

dhbarr

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Air pressure, water vapor, and temperature measurements come to mind.
 

Incongruent

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Hey everyone, I am new to the forum and I am here to seek input and feedback on some ideas.

I am constantly thinking of ways to change the world through science education and was thinking of products that could be developed to do this. I know that rockets are used in classrooms and I was trying to come up with some electronic payload ideas that would be useful to science educators, and get students excited about science, or at least have some scientific value in the classroom rather that just talking about physics. Maybe there are other ways of using rockets for this noble purpose, I am not sure. I'm just trying to brainstorm and get some ideas in work.

Any input would be appreciated. I used to build and launch model rockets all the time as a kid and it was a bunch of fun. Now I live in an area that isn't conducive to rocketry so it has been a while. I am not a teacher but more of a young entrepreneur that is constantly looking for ways to make a positive impact on the world.
Hello.
Good ideas.
There are electronic altimeters that record many variables, some at intervals during the flight and others only at certain points. There usually is pressure, though it is given through the corresponding altitude in earth's atmosphere, but there are also acceleration based altimeters that use an accelerometer to determine apogee (the highest point in flight, where the rocket isn't moving up or down, so a parachute and its shock cord deployed then will not zipper or tear a line down the tube) in larger rockets.

However, from an education standpoint, a small rocket would be more economical and in my experience and conversations with other students, that is normally the deciding factor. (In a classroom, a TARC team gets funding because of the competition part. Teachers are only required to teach the standards, many go above in terms of things taught but few will spend much cash and time unless it covers the standards quicker than other methods. In my conversations trying to persuade teachers to add rockets to their lessons I've learned that the two main excuses are lack of class time to do it and lack of personal time to create a lesson plan. The second is just an excuse for not wanting to- I offered to create all the lesson plans and materials but was still rejected.)

About an having electronic payload though, you have to measure outside factors from inside the rocket and so other than things like pressure which are constant regardless of where the air is from, the air has to exchange extremely well or there will be poor results.

Temperature, pressure, acceleration, thrust (obtained by the motor's thrust curve, almost always available from thrustcurve.org especially for low power motors), altitude (derived from pressure, but also useful), are good candidates. I would look at commercial options to see whether there are altimeter options that have what you need, since making them yourself will (despite popular belief) probably be much more expensive.
Acceleration can be found with altitude and time. The perfectflite Pnut (among others) have altitude and temperature, so all the above variables can be found. It might be hard to find pressure without a knowing pressure at ground level, but it's doable. (http://www.perfectflite.com/pnut.html)
An advantage of the Pnut is that it's certified for competition use too.

One could compare the predicted flight data (from a simulation program like Openrocket of Rocksim) to actual flight data and possibly find ways to curve the simulation data to match reality better.

I don't mean to say that it's a bad idea, it's a great idea but the problem isn't so much the lack of technology, it's the lack of rocketry including curriculum usage (there is a rocketry curriculum plan on the NAR site)

Good luck, hope this helped!
 

TheBrainDance

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Thank you for the wealth of information. It looks like I will have to go back to the drawing board and take a different approach.
 

Incongruent

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Thank you for the wealth of information. It looks like I will have to go back to the drawing board and take a different approach.
Just a quick question, are you interested in profiting off of this?

If not, a website with project materials and a shopping list (or your own project kit, if you're selling) will be good. If so, a book or project material pack plus lesson plans will be the best bet, as long as it covers standards and is short enough to be doable in a classroom but long enough to be thorough. You can consider selling through vendors, Apogee (apogeerockets.com) is very education oriented with many resources but (in my opinion, and looking from a teacher's perspective too) not much in terms of lesson plans. If you create or plan on creating lesson plans and a kit to do them, talk to them and see if they're interested. It would help since they're a rather big rocket company that people go to for education already, so people will know about your product.
Further research, both about what teachers want, the standards, and what can be accomplished through rocketry (quite a lot, actually) will help you immensely.

Also, since my personal experiences may not align with other people's, you should probably fact check and research the stuff that I tell you too.
 

cherokeej

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There are a few programs like this taking place now.

Both SLI and ARLISS come to mind.

A Rocket Launch for International Student Satellites, aka ARLISS, happens at the Black Rock desert in September. ~150-or-so university and advanced high school students build their sats, show up at Black Rock, and we provide the launch vehicles to carry the sats to ~12K and deploy them from the rockets. (I think) Sponsors pay for (most of) the M1419's and the K550's. (Yeah. Kinda rough. Join the team, show up with your L3 and your 6" ARLISS, and someone comes walking down the flight line, hands you a 3 grain M and says "Would you fly this for me?" Sometimes, several times in a day.) Check it out...

[video=youtube;xEyLhni6Ivs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEyLhni6Ivs&index=49&list=FLktRH36wiLPIFUfqGQoxwwg[/video]

But that's one place to learn about sat projects. While the majority of teams have been participating in "the Come-Back Competition," a lot still do their little experiments. And a lot of those experiments are seriously "outside the box." I know what a 6" Arliss-M will do on an M1419. Over the years, we've done it close to 1000 times. I've done t personally about 50 times. I go to see the kids' projects. Some of those students are so far beyond brilliant that it is mind-boggling...

LUNAR will once again be holding a "mini-ARLISS" at Snow Ranch this coming spring. Local high school students build "can-sat" payloads from a kit marketed by a company called Magnitude IO, we provide three inch "K-ARLISS" birds, and while holding the student sats captive in the airframes, we launch on J415's to between 6 and 7K. The student team runs out to collect up the bird, and bring it back to the flyer to have their payloads removed from the a/f and returned to them for data analysis. Hell of a lot of fun for all involved, and the education value to the students... Off the chart.

We would absolutely welcome more support from industry. More companies with more kits marketing different ideas... Absolutely. Bring it on, please!

But what these programs need is sponsors. Aero-space companies all want the next generation of engineers, but won't help sponsor their educations. IMHO, that has to change if those companies want to see graduates doing more than writing game code...
 

K'Tesh

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I was curious if a payload that measures magnetic fields could be a suitable project?
 

Incongruent

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I was curious if a payload that measures magnetic fields could be a suitable project?
There are handheld gaussmeters that could be taken apart and used, you would have to find a way to record but it should be able to fit in a larger rocket.
 

jadebox

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When I was in the sixth grade, we built and launched model rockets. The teachers worked rocketry into all of our subjects over a period of a few weeks - science, math, English, and history. It was a creative way to inspire us. It certainly expanded my interest in science, math, and technology (and rockets!).

I've considered working with my wife, a former teacher, to develop a similar curriculum for middle-school teachers - something we could publish online for free use. But, unfortunately, we haven't had much spare time to follow through on it.

-- Roger
 
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